Rural areas consist of more than agriculture, and an increasing share of the EU budget is directed towards the environment and to stimulating economic and social development. Furthermore, a number of new challenges have been identified where farms and businesses in rural areas could play an important part. These are climate change, renewable energy, management of water resources and preservation of biological diversity. As a consequence, additional funds are transferred
from the single farm payments to measures within the rural development program.
The fact that funds are made available does not necessarily mean that they are used effectively or that they result in long-term sustainable development. EU funds are paid on condition that they are continuously evaluated and adjusted in case objectives are not sufficiently fulfilled.
AgriFood’s analyses take into account the problems and conditions of rural areas, and evaluate measures that can be used to attend effectively to the new challenges. AgriFood also takes part in the evaluations of Swedish rural development programs, which contain support of measures to protect biological diversity, to produce renewable energy and to manage water resources.
In addition, AgriFood continuously works on developing methods for economic evaluation and adapting these to problems identified in previous evaluations.